End of the Road for Small Livestock Farms?

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
God its all a bit depressing isn't it.
On the other hand I've just watched the latest Country Calendar episode that was about a 23 year old North Island woman who ran the stock on her parents 2000 Ewe farm, currently building up her own cattle herd by buying cheap wild horses, breaking them in and selling them on to pay for it. She's also a district councillor and is studying politics. Loads of energy and enthusiasm and currently buying her way in to the family business.
Seemed to be a hunter too.
Not a mention of subs or government support in the whole show, just a keen young farmer who loves the industry.
No real point to my ramblings, just thought the two outlooks on farming were complete opposites.
 

kiwi pom

Member
Location
canterbury NZ
I think many of you have misunderstood what and why I started this thread.

@Formatted how much are you going to pay in rent for this land?
How far are you prepared to drive at least once every day and more when calving to check the stock?
How much do you think you will need in capital to buy the stock and have the minimum amount of machinery you will require to run this 50 acres?

The present farmers have kept on a family owned block of land and have I believe had a good balance of producing suckler beef at a small profit up to now. They have kept up the fences and hedges and maintained the land in good order as well as having work outside of the farm which I say good luck to them.
They are not looking for handouts but the reality is that the costs are now so high that when the BPS and small environmental payment disappears then the farm will be making far too great a loss to continue.

However it doesn't really matter if it is 50 acres or 500 acres in a similar type of farming on marginal but important land for the environment, it cannot be made to work unless the price of beef rises significantly (unlikely) or there is another scheme that supports the environmental benefits to give enough income. These small farms do perform an important function to help keep the rural economy working.

A 50 acre place couldn't buy in store cattle in the spring and run them until they were finished or the grass ran out and move them on?
No machinery needed, move them after work etc.
Grow feed and fatten a batch of store lambs, graze dairy heifers something simple like that?
 

glasshouse

Member
Location
lothians
God its all a bit depressing isn't it.
On the other hand I've just watched the latest Country Calendar episode that was about a 23 year old North Island woman who ran the stock on her parents 2000 Ewe farm, currently building up her own cattle herd by buying cheap wild horses, breaking them in and selling them on to pay for it. She's also a district councillor and is studying politics. Loads of energy and enthusiasm and currently buying her way in to the family business.
Seemed to be a hunter too.
Not a mention of subs or government support in the whole show, just a keen young farmer who loves the industry.
No real point to my ramblings, just thought the two outlooks on farming were complete opposites.
Nz doesnt have the population pressure we have which drives property beyond the reach of farmers
 
A 50 acre place couldn't buy in store cattle in the spring and run them until they were finished or the grass ran out and move them on?
No machinery needed, move them after work etc.
Grow feed and fatten a batch of store lambs, graze dairy heifers something simple like that?

You make a valid point, however the margin on store cattle will be small as the grass is not good enough to finish cattle. Buying store cattle and selling them again as stores is usually a good way to lose money!
Dairy heifers no longer exist in this area, all cows have now gone.
Not really good grass for finishing store lambs, already let out the winter keep.
 

neilo

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
Montgomeryshire
The continent kept headage payments and front loaded the first 50 sucklers , 500 ewes and 50 Hc.
What stopped you doing the same ?

Domestic Govt policy stopped it, nothing else.

Welsh govt chose to top load the first 56ha (iirc), but no cap. I’m not aware that the the other devolved nations chose any such option.
However, I don’t think that ‘top loading’ has made much difference to rents, sustainability, etc.
 

som farmer

Member
Livestock Farmer
Location
somerset
there are plenty of young, or not so young, farmers out there, that actively seek out small blocks of land, and build up from that. Farming is what you make of it, plenty on a 1,000+ acres, breaking even, or close, and plenty of aspiring farmers, building stock numbers, and make a profit on 50. The biggest thing every farmer should realise, farming is a vibrant industry, constantly evolving, re-acting to challenges, those that adapt, will get on, those that wont, will make opportunities for the former.
 

BrianV

Member
Livestock Farmer
Domestic Govt policy stopped it, nothing else.

Welsh govt chose to top load the first 56ha (iirc), but no cap. I’m not aware that the the other devolved nations chose any such option.
However, I don’t think that ‘top loading’ has made much difference to rents, sustainability, etc.
Believe me if you have 5 or 6 hundred acres picking up £50K I’ve found it makes bidding for grass keep one hell of lot easier, top loading aimed at smaller numbers of anything should be the way forward with a definite cap, personally a limit of £25k would seem to me about right.
Any extra after that should be enviro based whether it’s for trees or flowers
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
Everyone wants a bit of land for a house
We have twelve times the population of nz, so far more pressure here

No they don't. Most people just want enough money to see them to their next pay day, with cash for a bit of fun at the weekend.

The overwhelming reason land in the UK is so expensive is the tax regime, followed by subsidy.
 

digger64

Member
You make a valid point, however the margin on store cattle will be small as the grass is not good enough to finish cattle. Buying store cattle and selling them again as stores is usually a good way to lose money!
Dairy heifers no longer exist in this area, all cows have now gone.
Not really good grass for finishing store lambs, already let out the winter keep.
from what you have said the last straw is the recent forage/straw costs - is this a climate related bad year or has the inflated price been created by new demand pressures /policies ?
 

unlacedgecko

Member
Livestock Farmer
And england stwenty times the population has no effect?
Probably does for smaller parcels. But lifestyle blocks are the exclusive land use in some parts of NZ.

For larger blocks of UK land, no I don't think so. Foreign investment is the main competition, much like NZ. Of course, thanks to Cindy, NZ now has the additional pressure of carbon offset forestry.
 
A 50 acre place couldn't buy in store cattle in the spring and run them until they were finished or the grass ran out and move them on?
No machinery needed, move them after work etc.
Grow feed and fatten a batch of store lambs, graze dairy heifers something simple like that?
Spring trade is often dear backend trade is often cheaper and less cattle available in the spring loads available in the backend
Can you see what I’m saying
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

court-640x360.jpg
A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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